Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life
This passage is one of my very favorite ones in scripture. Paul, writing from a Roman jail, is telling people how to be content, and is thanking people for their support and generosity. He is telling people to earnestly rejoice, even while he is in the midst of trouble.
There is a formula here for contentment. If we rejoice, recognizing that God is near, we will be better able to turn to Him in prayer, especially at those very rattled times. We are to give our petitions to God with thanksgiving. That is, recognizing that we have done what we are supposed to do, and having put it into God’s hands, we are to be thankful that He will then take care of things. How will He take care of things? Well, that is not our problem- that is His concern. Since He loves us, we are to be assured that He will deal with it in our ultimate best interest. Paul then says that the peace of God will then guard our hearts.
In order to maintain this peace, we then need to think on good, pure and lovely things, uplifting things. Paul is outlining here the most basic of psychological principles- what we dwell on, we become. The part of our spirit that is fed is the part that grows. So, we are to feed the positive, uplifting ideas and surroundings, not the negative, deadly things the world has to offer.
Paul concludes, if we put these things into practice, the God of peace will be with us. If we let the peace of God guard our hearts, the God of peace will dwell there!
Prayer: Father, thanks for your plan of taking care of us in the times of trouble. Help us to remember that you love us more than we understand, and that you desire us to have you, the God of peace, dwell with us, Amen.